The other day I wrote in our annual Christmas letter that, “One by one the elders are leaving us and it’s beginning to feel mighty breezy at the top of the family tree.” i could have added that it’s also pretty quiet.
A fortnight ago, Nonna died peacefully in a local Palliative Care ward. The same day, a friend died in a different part of the country, also in a Palliative Care ward. A few days later, another of the elderly cousins in Italy joined them.
We made sure that Nonna had a good send-off. We sat with her during those long hours of her last days and we sang to her, all of her songs that we knew and a few newer ones that she loved. As we were all standing around the grave at the end of the ceremonies, looking at the magnificent arrangement of lilies – always her favourite flower, whether to receive or grow – YoungB started singing one of those songs, one in which colours are mentioned. I couldn’t think of a more fitting tribute.
Addio, Nonna, thank you for being part of my family and welcoming me into yours. May your spirit be resting peacefully somewhere where there are lots of flowers and plenty of singing.